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Kubica interview: winning is a wonderful feeling 12 Jun 2008

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 8 June 2008 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 passes team mate Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.08.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 8 June 2008 Fans celebrate victory for Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 8 June 2008

At last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix Robert Kubica made it onto the top step of the podium for the very first time, to take BMW Sauber’s maiden victory, in what was only his 29th Formula One race. Kubica, however, hasn’t had time to rest on his laurels for too long and is back at work testing this week. The team’s press office caught up with the Polish driver in Barcelona to question the hero of Montreal about his win and his hopes for the rest of the season…

Q: Four days after the race, how does it feel to have recorded your first Grand Prix victory?
Robert Kubica:
It is a wonderful feeling, not only for me but for the whole team, for everybody who contributed to the win. Of course, we had a little luck on Sunday, but we earned that good fortune. In the end we were able to celebrate a one-two victory, in which Nick (Heidfeld) also played his part. It was a fantastic result, which gives the team a big motivation boost.

Q: At what point during the race did you first think that you could take the win?
RK:
When Lewis (Hamilton) and Kimi (Raikkonen) were eliminated from the race at the first pit stop I was the leading two-stopper. However, the safety car phase appeared to play into the hands of the drivers on a one-stop strategy. I was stuck for far too long behind slower cars, until the last of them came into the pits. Then I was at last able to attack and extend my lead. The first relief came when my second pit stop went smoothly. The pit crew once again did a perfect job. It was once I found that I was still ahead of Nick that I had the first thoughts of winning. I cut down my speed and concentrated totally on not making any mistakes over the final 15 laps. They were the longest, but also the most relaxed laps of my Formula One career so far, as I had no more pressure and only needed to bring the car home.

Q: What have you been doing in the days following your victory?
RK:
There has not been much time. I’ve just tried to recharge my energy levels. I’ve done some training and spent the rest of the time relaxing. On Wednesday I travelled to Barcelona, where I’m testing on Thursday and Friday with a view to the next race at Magny-Cours.

Q: This weekend you’ll be driving the Formula One car at BMW Sauber’s Pit Lane Park in Warsaw. Are you looking forward to meeting the Polish fans?
RK:
I hope the weather’s good, if so it will definitely be an exciting event. We were over there a year ago, and an unbelievable amount of people turned up even though it was during the holidays. This time it is likely even more people will be there. For me it will be quite a demanding weekend. I’ll have the two days of testing first before flying off to Warsaw on Friday evening, and then it all gets started on Saturday morning. But if the fans enjoy themselves, then all the effort will have been worthwhile.

Q: You are now leading the drivers’ world championship. Do you think you have a realistic chance of winning the title?
RK:
I did not expect to be leading the championship after seven races, as our car is not the absolute fastest on the grid. However, we have total reliability. We were still experiencing a few problems in this area last year, but since then we’ve made huge improvements. Added to which, the pit crew has done a great job, as has everybody in the team. I have collected points regularly so far this year, but of course I don’t know if that is going to continue. I will focus on the grands prix one at a time and try to take maximum points in every situation. Of course, consistency is an important factor, and I hope that we are also able to make further improvements to the car. Then we can achieve good things. Whatever happens, we have to do all we can to make the best of the situation. After all, who knows if I will ever get a chance like this again. One thing is for sure - I’ll be giving it everything.